Did you know that 15 million plastic bottles are thrown away each day in the UK? To reduce that waste and set an inspiring and creative example, artist Sarah Turner enlisted the help of nearly one thousand children to build a stunning elephant sculpture out of 900 recycled plastic bottles. Created for Coventry's Godiva Festival 2014, Emily the elephant was assembled and decorated with blue nail polish with the help of the festival visitors.
With a focus on eco art and design, artist Sarah Turner created the lightweight frame for the elephant sculpture out of hula hoops, wood, and plumbing pipes inserted into large recycled water jugs. The frame was then painted white and covered in chicken wire before it was delivered to the Godiva Festival’s Make Space Tent, where it was then completed in the span of a weekend by hundreds of eager young participants.
To symbolize Coventry’s dedication to reducing waste and celebrating creativity, each plastic bottle was painted with nail polish in the distinct shade of Coventry blue. The elephant was selected for the shape of the sculpture as a reference to the animal’s central position in Coventry’s coat of arms.
“I was amazed by the reaction from the people of Coventry towards the project,” says Turner. “They loved Emily the Elephant and I was really touched that so many people wanted to be a part of making the sculpture.”